MODESTO - Sierra High's three-time defending Valley Oak League champion girls swim team picked up where it left off in its 2010 non-league opener against Downey Thursday, cruising to a 116-53 victory.
Only a select few are still dropping perspiration on the mats in hopes of continuing a season-long journey. For some the journey has been a success by still being alive, but for one of the highly-touted wrestlers in the Sac-Joaquin Section, anything short of a title would be a letdown.
It took three quarters for Kiwi Gardner to take over.
East Union and Ripon Christian's girls basketball teams are heavy underdogs in their Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs second-round contests tonight.
COLFAX – After giving Sac-Joaquin Division IV top seed Colfax an early 11 point lead in the first quarter, the visiting Ripon Indians simply couldn't overcome the margin in their first-round playoff appearance.
RIPON – After sprinting out of the gate to an early 10-point lead, the Ripon Christian Knights started putting all of the pieces together in their Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoff opener Wednesday against visiting Stone Ridge Christian (12-10) of Merced.
Manteca High's girls soccer team opened the season in impressive fashion but could not hold on in a 3-1 home loss to Lodi Wednesday.
LOOMIS - Leading scorer Aaron Hendricks was out for Wednesday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III postseason opener against No. 14 Sierra, but No. 3 Del Oro still had little trouble in advancing with a 69-39 victory.
Clipping a double-digit deficit to five points to close out the third period seemingly put the Rio Americano girls basketball team in position to continue its season. Yet a perfectly executed defensive shutout in the fourth quarter proved to be the end of the Raider's year in their 54-43 Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Tournament loss to East Union Tuesday at the Dalben Center.
FAIRFIELD - With head coaching duties split between assistant coach Garrett Tolman, boys head coach Dave Asuncion and athletic director Ron Inderbitzin, Manteca High's girls basketball team struggled to keep up with highly-favored Vanden in a 71-25 loss in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs Tuesday.
The good news for East Union High's girls basketball team is that its loss to rival Manteca in the regular-season finale last Thursday didn't bump it low enough in the Division III seedings for a possible second-round matchup with the nation's top-ranked team in St. Mary's.
A 13-game-winning streak to end the regular season wasn't good enough for Manteca High's boys basketball team to get a favorable seed for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.
• Division III boys: No. 16 Hogan at No. 1 Sacramento, No. 9 Foothill at No. 8 Lincoln, No. 12 Livingston at No. 5 Rio Americano, No. 13 El Dorado at No. 4 St. Mary's, No. 14 Sierra at No. 3 Del Oro, No. 11 Pioneer at No. 6 Center, No. 10 Placer at No. 7 Manteca, No. 15 Sonora at No. 2 Vista del Lago.
MODESTO - East Union High's girls soccer team had a strong showing its first non-league match of the season Monday, battling Central Catholic to a 0-0 tie.
STOCKTON - The blond streak in Esteban Paramo's hair may have started as a personal statement of style, but it's come to symbolize something much bigger.
Sierra played perfect defense from the second minute to the 78th Monday against visiting East Union.
Brooke Riley shot an even-par 37 to lead East Union's 246-288 win over Manteca at Manteca Park Golf Course. Monday's win moves the Lancers to 5-0 in the Valley Oak League.
RIPON – After an explosive defensive Ripon Christian start left the visiting Orestimba Wildcats wearing roller-skates and its fleet-footed gunslinger struggling to breathe, the Southern League opener at Stouffer Field Friday night looked like an exercise in futility.
LATHROP - When the going got tough, Kristen Maestretti and the Sierra volleyball team got going Thursday in their Valley Oak League match at Lathrop.
East Union proved Thursday night that it can be a threat in the hunt for Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berths, dropping a well-contested four-game loss to visiting Kimball at Dalben Center.
Ripon High's boys water polo team is again short on numbers, and its top player has graduated after leading the program with his scoring prowess in its first four years of existence.
MARIPOSA - At 6-foot-5 with a super-stretch wingspan, Lukas Vermeulen cuts an imposing figure in the goal.
McKenna Doyle set the curve and the Sierra girls golf team followed suit in a 243-395 Valley Oak League victory over Weston Ranch.
Could a changing of the guard be in order in the Southern League?
STOCKTON - After a scoreless first half Weston Ranch hit two goals in a minute early in the second half and went on to a 3-1 Valley Oak League soccer win over visiting Lathrop.
East Union was 40 minutes away from securing a huge Valley Oak League victory on the road Wednesday against Oakdale.
Ripon ended its nonleague schedule strong, as it crushed visiting Tokay of Lodi 25-22, 25-14, 25-15 on Wednesday.
Brooke Riley carded a 1-under 36 on Manteca Park Golf Course's front nine to anchor East Union's tightly-contested 251-256 victory over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
STOCKTON – One suffered a flat last week, stalling out in Modesto. The other has taken a while to warm up.